First Steps in the Pathway to Protection

July 12, 2019 posted by

New Dehli is Australia's only immigration post in India, Nepal, and Bhutan, and they're the three countries we have responsibility for. In New Delhi, we have approximately 7 teams, we cover the full gamut of DIAC's visa products through to refugee and humanitarian. We do roughly 780 refugee and humanitarian visas a year, there are several camps around the East side of Nepal where Bhutanese refugees have been living for about 20 years. Our refugee work here in New Delhi really starts with preparing a mission up to Nepal, so we do that be liaising with UNHCR and IOM in Kathmandu and Damak to get the times and dates for the interviews and to identify the people we'll interview. Then our local staff start preparing all the files for our staff. That involves getting all the forms together that the refugees need to sign, getting the interview questions ready and getting the files prepped. After that we bring it all together, and off we head to Damak to start the interview process. So we've just arrived in Damak and we've come out here to the Beldengi refugee camp UNHCR has organised for us today a briefing with some refugees who are in the resettlement process to move to Australia. It's great that before we start the interviews UNHCR has been able to organise this informal information session, or question and answer session today because before we sit down in an interview room with these families it gives them an opportunity to see us first and put some questions to us about what the process is and what it's like to live in Australia. During the course of the week we'll be speaking with families like the ones here today and learn a bit more about who they are, the stories of why they are living here in Nepal, and understanding their refugee claims, but also gathering a lot of information that will help our settlement service colleagues in Australia make sure that these people arrive and settle well. when they get to Australia. I think one of the most important things about Australia's refugee and humanitarian program is that it provides an ordered managed way for people who are the most vulnerable to arrive in Australia and receive support services they need to help them start a new life. That they're arriving in conditions of safety, dignity, and with all the assistance they need to make a new life in Australia.

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